After the departure last summer of Dr. Ralph Meyer as the Director of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) (which I wrote about in these pages), the search has been on to find a new Director for the Group. The search was a joint one by Queen’s University and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI)
I am delighted that Dr. Janet Dancey has just today been announced as Dr. Meyer’s successor. Janet is a wonderful choice!
The NCIC CTG is a “cooperative oncology group which carries out clinical trials in cancer therapy, supportive care and prevention across Canada and internationally”.
The NCIC CTG is one of the national programs and networks of the CCSRI, and is supported by a major grant (the largest single grant the CCSRI awards) from the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). The CCS through the (then) National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) established the group in 1980 and has been supporting it continuously since then. Even though the NCIC officially amalgamated with the CCS in 2009, the CTG still bears the NCIC name since it has achieved a stellar international brand among clinical oncologists worldwide and the CCS did not wish to disrupt that brand recognition at the time of the amalgamation.
I have no doubt that the international search was a vigorous one. I co-chaired the search committee in 2007 Ralph Meyer was appointed to the post and I know that the calibre of individuals who would have been considered would have been very high, by any national or international standard.
But I also know that sometimes the very best people are in our own back yards and this is one of those time for sure.
One look at Janet’s credentials from the press release will show why she is an ideal fit for this challenging but critical position.
But what it won’t tell you is something about Janet herself.
I have been an admirer of hers since the day I met her many years ago when we first started working together. I hugely respect her ability to cut to the chase and to reduce complex matters down to actionable ideas. I watched her emerge as a natural thought leader and a real moral compass on the CCSRI’s Advisory Council on Research where she was admired and respected by all around the table, not least of which was me. She is one of those people who sits in a committee meeting, takes in all of the back and forth and pro and con and synthesizes it down to a cogent nugget that really gets to the crux of the matter. This ability will no doubt stand her in very good stead in her new role, as it has done in all her past endeavours.
I wish Janet huge success in this new leadership role in one of the most widely acclaimed clinical trials groups in the world.